A Conversation for Sandown Pier, Isle of Wight, UK

The Pier... then and now

Post 1

Jezebel

I grew up in Sandown when the theatre was on the pier. We visited this edifice two or three times, if that, and frankly, it was a bit sad and feeble. Cannon and Ball indeed. We did regularly walk past it to get to the amusement arcades or go fishing for crabs, but really that space was wasted.

Now I have kids of my own and I just can't work up any horror at the transformation which the theatre on the pier has undergone. There is no shortage of theatres on the Island - indeed, some would say there is an oversupply anyway. One of the best is in nearby Shanklin. As it is, we go to the pier perhaps twice a month or even more in summer, to enjoy not the now-vanished theatre but the amusements and the great 'Magic Island' kids play area. it might be lowbrow but it sure does bring in the crowds, and that's what piers are all about. More candyfloss! More burgers! More cascade machines! We love Sandown Pier. Thanks for a wonderful look into its past.


The Pier... then and now

Post 2

Bullet To Be

I'm glad you enjoyed reading about it - I too anm from Sandown, although my friend's father worked at the theatre, so when it closed he became unemployed, so I don't have a quite neutral view on the theatre - although it is true I didn't go there that much, apart from when I was on stage for a school play etc...

I think the crazy golf's great, though. smiley - winkeye
So, are you an Islander yourself?

<BB<


The Pier... then and now

Post 3

Jezebel

Islander... well, one has to be careful about using that term unless your great-grandparents did too. However, suffice to say I was brought up in Sandown and now live in Lake, having spent some of the intervening years on the North Island. I was delighted to read all the high-quality Island-related contributions to h2g2, and it didn't take me too long to track down where the vast majority had come from. Well done that man. Perhaps they will name some sort of ice-cream after you for services to the Island's image. Goodness knows it needs it.


The Pier... then and now

Post 4

Bullet To Be

My family have always researched history - some of the Isle of Wight history books in sale in the Tourist Information offices were written by my Grandad, and my Dad traced the family tree back to the 16th Century, and we were living there then, so I guess I can call myself an Islander. Although I too am on the North island at the moment (I left to go to Southampton Uni, couldn't afford to finish my degree and now have a job and am working towards finishing my degree with the OU).
But (after I was 18 months old and lived in Cowes) I've always lived in Sandown other than that - went to St John's Primary, Sandham Middle and Sandown High Schools (& Sixth Form), and have an affection for the place. Yes - I've even subscribed to getting postal copies of the Isle of Wight County Press sent to me smiley - winkeye

<BB<


The Pier... then and now

Post 5

Jezebel

Hey, I went to St John's too! Fancy that. I get the idea you're a bit youunger than me, though, so I doubt we were copupils. Lets just say that when I went there, the field in the front was devoid of buildings and there were about six enormous elm trees there, where now the preschool stands.

I particularly liked the article you wrote about St Catherines Oratory - I used it as reference for an article I wrote which appeared a while ago in, yes, that publication you subscribe to. If I ever went back over the water I'd do the same. I love the CP. Perhaps I can feel an article coming on...


The Pier... then and now

Post 6

Bullet To Be

Ah yes, St. Johns Primary. I was there when there was a treehouse, castle, wendy house, sand pit (used by local dogs too often, alas), an angel-shaped climbing frame, an A frame, a yellow B frame, and in my first year there, there was a tree trunk lying in the middle which we used to pretend was a spaceship. Great fun. My friends and I used to push each other out of the tree-house non-stop, but none of us ever hurt ourselves at all. (Funny as now it seems that if you as much as look at a child they break their arms etc. Kids just aren't as tough as we used to be - it's all that time they spend in front of playstations etc. smiley - winkeye) There was also an old shed that was supposed to be a museum containing random bits of rock that Mrs Ellam liked. I could talk about it all day.

I'd thought about writing an article about the County Press, using info from the book "Black On Wight", but I wasn't sure if it would be enough information as I'd prefer to have several sources of information. But I'd enjoy reading it if you write one. But make sure you mention Besley!

<BB<


St John's Infants Sandown

Post 7

Jezebel

Not sure I'd manage such a learned treatise to the CP as you usually produce.. more of a heartfelt tribute, followed by a bit of whining rambling. My speciality, you know.

Anyway, here's some more for your local history file. That tree trunk you remember was indeed one of the elm trees I knew and loved - it was felled in about 1976 several years after succumbing to Dutch Elm Disease, along with a number of its peers. The one trunk was retained for small boys to fall from, and it remained there for many years; I saw it from time to time as I passed by. Mrs Elams was my headteacher too, and amazingly, when I went back to that school in 1999 to see if we could send our boys there (decided against it in the end) she was still about, although not as head any more.


St John's Infants Sandown

Post 8

Bullet To Be

An English Heritage photo of Sandown Pier has made national news:

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/lottery-funding-for-important-aerial-photo-collection/

<BB<


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